Wild Need

Read the Excerpt

Beau Chiasson was tired and hot. The September sun was brutal on the already roasted earth. The summers were always vicious in the bayou, but this past one had been exceedingly so. The thick, ominous rain clouds tempted everyone with the promise of a brief respite from the heat.

He put his truck into park and reached the store just as the first fat drops of rain landed on the windshield. Beau smiled and leaned his head back as he closed his eyes. The sound of the rain was soothing, restful. He didn’t know how long he sat there before he opened his eyes and saw the steam rising from the concrete as the rain continued. It was now a steady downpour that would cool the temperatures several degrees.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flash of golden blond, and immediately his gaze snapped in that direction. Instantly, he sat up and focused. Beau could still recall the first time he saw Davena Arcineaux. It had been just a year before, with the same stormy weather. She had swerved to miss a dog running across the road and landed her car in the ditch.

Beau hadn’t helped her that day. Others had been quick to reach her before he could. She had stepped out of her car into the mud and was immediately drenched.

He still wasn’t sure if it was the uncertainty he saw in her gaze as she looked around, or the take-charge attitude she had as she got her sister out of the car. Either way, there was definitely something appealing and altogether fascinating about her.

Snapping out of his reverie, his gaze followed Davena as she walked laughing in the rain. Most shielded themselves from getting wet, but not Davena. She welcomed it, eyes bright and lips wide. Her head tilted back to let the rain fall on her face. She remained that way for several seconds before she smoothed her hair out of her face and walked to the doors of the veterinary clinic.

Beau could stare at her all day. It was the same every time he saw her. He gave a rueful shake of his head and opened the truck door to step out into the rain. He shut the door and started to walk away when he glanced back at Davena. He paused when her gaze met his. Even from across the street, he knew the exact color of her eyes – spring green.

They were as bright and enchanting as her laugh.

Davena and her sister kept mostly to themselves, just as the Chiassons did, so Beau had yet to actually talk to her. Not that he would. Why bother getting to know her? The Chiasson name would be carried on through Vincent and Lincoln. That was enough for him and Christian. Especially Christian. If anyone was adverse to finding a woman to share life with, it was Christian.

Beau nodded a greeting at Davena before he strode into the store. He tried to forget the way her shirt molded to her breasts, or how her hair looked like spun gold, even wet. He desperately tried to ignore how his body instantly came alive at seeing her.

He grabbed a basket and pulled out his list of the items he needed for dinner. It didn’t take him long to get them and start toward the check out. He turned the corner and heard a soft intake of breath right before he collided with someone.

There was a soft, feminine gasp. Immediately, Beau released the basket and grabbed a hold of the person. His hands wrapped around thin arms as he looked down into spring green eyes. He could only stare dumbfounded at Davena. The ends of her blonde hair dripped onto her soaked pink plaid shirt. It was the closest he had ever been to her, and he found it wasn’t nearly close enough.

Beau felt a shiver run through her, and even though he knew he should release her, he couldn’t. He held her, marveling at her simple beauty.

“I’m sorry,” she said, her gaze skating away for a heartbeat. “I wasn’t watching where I was going.”

He cleared his throat. “It’s my fault. I had my head down.”

Beau knew he should let go of her, but his fingers refused to loosen their hold. Her skin was warm beneath his palms, and a slight flush stained her cheeks. She was utterly charming without even meaning to be. Beau was thoroughly shocked to discover he wanted to know her, to hear her laugh, to walk with her down the street.

Then he remembered who he was.

He released her and took a step back, instantly missing the feel of her smooth skin. “My apologies.”

Beau bent to pick up his basket. He straightened and threw a glance at her over his shoulder. Her guileless eyes watched him. He blew out a breath and started to walk away.

Only to be halted when she said, “I’m Davena Arcineaux. I don’t think we’ve met.”

Everything he had learned as a Chiasson, as a protector of the parish, told him to walk away and keep a professional distance. Yet, he found himself turning back to her.

Her oval face with her soft, clear skin was sun-kissed, making her golden locks stand out even more. She tucked her hair behind her ear, giving him a glimpse of her long neck. How he wanted to slide his fingers along the column of her throat and then kiss his way down.

His balls tightened just picturing it in his head. Beau mentally gave himself a shake. “I’m Beau. Beau Chiasson.”

“I know,” she said with a faint smile.

His gaze locked on her lips. Did she know how appealing she was? Did she have a clue how much he wanted to yank her against him and kiss those luscious lips?

“Everyone knows the Chiassons.”

Beau had to get away from her. She was trouble with a capital T. “Is that right?”

“You know it is. I just haven’t figured out why everyone all but whispers the Chiasson name.”

And there it was. The reason why Beau, like Christian, knew it was better to keep himself apart from any entanglements – no matter how attractive and tempting.

That was the curse of a Chiasson. They kept the bayous safe from supernatural elements, but in turn, they were outcasts. If they dared to marry, it never ended well. Most of the time it was with death – like what happened to his mother.

Still, it didn’t stop the ache inside him for someone to share his life with.

“You’ve been here only a year. I’m sure you’ll figure it out soon enough,” he said briskly and turned away once more.

The words were like acid on his tongue, but it had been necessary. For himself and the beautiful and tempting Davena. He wasn’t sure he could keep his distance. The words, as well as his brisk tone should make Davena rethink getting to know him.

It was what he wanted. Why then did he feel like shit for doing it?

Beau lengthened his strides to the checkout and set his basket down. Waiting for each item to be scanned and packaged felt like an eternity. He hastily tossed down some money and grabbed the bags as he hurriedly walked from the store.

Once inside his truck, he clutched the steering wheel, closed his eyes, and thought of Davena. Her face materialized in his mind, showcasing every detail. Right down to the flecks of gold in her eyes.

He sighed and snapped his eyes open. The sooner he forgot about her the better. Distance was his friend at the moment. Beau started the truck and backed away. He pulled out onto the road heading home, but even with music blaring through the speakers, he could still hear Davena’s voice in his head.